Kansas researchers weigh in on race to a vaccine, who will be first to market?

Coronavirus

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNT) — Moderna submitted its coronavirus vaccine to the FDA for approval Monday, making it the second company to apply. The company is now catching up to Pfizer in getting approval from the FDA

Researchers say it’s not just about finding a vaccine, but being the first to get it to market. 

“If they go forward, then the first to market always does better.” said Dr. Terry Klein, a researcher for the Pfizer and Moderna clinical trials at AMR Wichita-East. “It always does better. In this environment, if I had a company that had an FDA approved vaccine, I know the government would just consume it. They would purchase it, they would take it, and they’d give it to their military, and to the nursing homes, and to people, where they’ve seen the most devastation.” 

Moderna’s vaccine is now being reported as 94.1% effective, and 100% effective at preventing severe disease from the coronavirus.  

 Moderna and Pfizer are both two-dose vaccines. 

According to Moderna, the company is on track to produce 20 million doses for 10 million people by the end of December. Pfizer is boasting a projected 50 million doses by that time, and 1.3 billion for 2021.  

The government has arranged to pre-purchase both vaccines for distribution to the public free of charge.  

As coronavirus cases in Kansas continue to climb, researchers say the need for a vaccine is more prevalent than ever.  

“We’ve saved more lives with vaccines than we have with any other mechanism,” Dr. Klein said. “You can take a huge population and vaccinate globally, and all of a sudden, you’ve got a whole different world.”  

Moderna and Pfizer’s clinical trials are run as double-blind placebo trials, where part of the group receives a placebo, while the rest receive the vaccination. Participants will not know whether they received the vaccine or not, until the end of the trial. 

Moderna is also seeking approval in Europe, Canada, Britain, Israel and Singapore. 

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